CONTRAPOP

11. 11. 2004 - 22. 01. 2005

Caroline Achaintre (Germany), Matt Franks (UK), Jo Mitchell (UK), Ian Monroe (USA), Seb Patane (Italy), Daniel Pflumm (Germany), Toby Ziegler (UK).

vamiali’s is proud to present the group show contrapop curated by Suhail Malik, (Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies, Department of Visual Arts, Goldsmiths' College).

When pop art pushed art towards the world of advertising, commodities, and the common culture it extended a tendency in art that stretches back to nineteenth century modernism and dominates contemporary practice today. But there is also a counter drive in this kind of production, one that attacks the equivalence of art and popular culture. This other drive insists on the proliferation and ambiguity of meanings, of a kind of non-sense that is rarely if ever seen in popular culture or scientific knowledge. It affirms bewilderment and confusion. It opens up an uncertain distance in the sometimes overt and sometimes sly persuasive power of today's populist culture.

This exhibition proposes that this counterforce is in the power of abstraction, but not one that gets reified as 'abstract art'. It is instead an abstraction that operates in the heart of the popular forms and modes of culture, teasing out an abstractive force within that kind of now overwhelming production.

This force, that veers art away from the assimilating logics and speeds of the populism of our common cultures, is where and how art today continues to have some critical purchase on the world in which it is made and in which it is increasingly integrated. The criticality of this abstractive power is not against popular culture (the modernist, or traditional avant-garde move) but a re-organising effect on this side of a common culture. It proposes a different logics, narratives, and formations of sense within the multiple manifestations of that culture. This abstracting power is where and how art is as close as you like to popular culture but is also, at once, somehow, multiply distanced from it. This is not art that is for or against pop. It is instead a contrapop.
Suhail Malik

A 4 color catalogue is accompanied the exhibition.
With assistance from the British Council.

Logo design by Jo Mitchell.

INSTALLATION VIEW TOBY ZIEGLER
JO MITCHELL IAN MONROE
CAROLINE ACHAINTRE
DANIEL PFLUMM (video still)
MATT FRANKS
TOBY ZIEGLER      SEB PATANE SEB PATANE

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